Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. —Genesis 21:19,
Seeing can be such a relative term. I think it’s very important to note here that just be
So I ask you this? Just because you can’t see me right now, does that mean I don’t exist? Silly, I know, but do you get my point?cause we don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there. The popular phrase “I’ve gotta see it to believe it” should have no stock in the Christian perspective – for our perspective is designed by the Creator of the universe and, therefore, has the potential to be huge. In fact, Jesus says to His disciples in John 20:29, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Paul also emphasizes this in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Okay, moving on to the main passage where this verse comes from… Background first.
A woman named Hagar who had a son by Abraham, a man favored by God, and their son are wandering in the dry and empty desert when they run out of water. Hagar lays Ishmael under a tree and walks away, unable to bear watching him die.
He heard Ishmael crying and decided to come from His heavenly realms to our earthy, broken one to speak to this pagan woman. All because of the cry of a child (This says something about God’s heart for children along with the fact that God doesn’t discriminate [Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34]).
And here are the first two things out of God’s mouth – get this (I love how the Bible shows the character of God):
“What is the matter?” He cares.
“Do not be afraid.” He wants to comfort.
Next He assures her that He’s heard and that He has a solution. (vs. 17-18)
So finally we’re to the verse I’ve started this post with. “God opened her eyes” insinuating they were closed or unable to see before what God has now opened them up to. The well of water, which she now saw, was her hope, her opportunity, her way out of the dire situation she now found herself in. It had always been there, she was just unable to see it. This is why we need to trust God even when we cannot see why things are happening to us or what we’re supposed to do.
But this story doesn’t end there. She doesn’t just see her opportunity, or look at the hope presented. Right after she sees, the Bible tells us “So she went…” She went to her opportunity and took advantage of it. She utilized what God had graciously given her. She didn’t just sit on her hands and do nothing.
Well, those are my thoughts on this one. I was inspired into a new prayer by it:
Lord, Help me to trust You even when I can’t see or understand what’s going on or where I’m supposed to go next. Please open my eyes at just the right time to see exactly what you have for me. Not only so, but give me the wisdom and strength to take hold of what You give me and run with it – all for Your glory.